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How Do I Insulate Windows for Summer?

Insulate Windows for Summer: Complete Guide

Summer is here, and it has brought heatwaves and a lot of sweat. Unfortunately, the heat not only makes you sweat physically but mentally as you are trying to battle that awful electric or gas bill that keeps your home livable. But there is good news, there are a few options you can use for insulating windows for Summer and battling that bill.

You can insulate your windows to keep Summer heat out using the following methods:

  1. Weatherstrip Your Windows
  2. Apply Bubble Wrap
  3. Install Insulating Shutters
  4. Install Cellular Shades
  5. Add Reflective Window Film
  6. Lay Down Draft Snakes
  7. Invest in Energy Efficient Windows
  8. Use Blackout Curtains

If you add one or all of these options to your windows, you should see a dramatic change in your air conditioning’s efficiency and a drop in your electric bill. And that is what we want, right?

While it may take an upfront charge to buy the materials needed, you will gain back that investment through savings on your bills. Let’s dive into each individual option to help you decide which one is right for you to help keep the heat out.

If you have a leak in your window read our article on How to Temporarily Fix a Broken Window.

1. Insulating Windows Using Weatherstripping

This is always a go-to method for putting a dent in that utility bill. And, if you ever purchase an older home, this should be one of the first things you do to your property. When you have poor weatherstripping, you are just letting your nice, cool air leave your home. And when that cool air leaves, the hot air can start to become overwhelming.

It stands to mention, this is a winter-friendly method too, as it will help with the opposite problem. The best thing about this method is that there are many different types of weatherstripping. You can shop around and find the material that maximizes effectiveness, but also fits well into your budget.


how to insulate windows for summer

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2. Insulating Windows with Bubble Wrap

While this is typically a fun material that comes in packages and brings out the child in all of us. It is also a great material for grown-ups, who are worried about that terrible utility bill.

The great thing about bubble wrap is that installation is easy! All you have to do is spritz the window with some water, and the bubble wrap will stick to it.

When applied, the bubble wrap acts as another glass pane, but it does slightly alter the view. However, the main goal is to insulate, right? And if you are using any shades, you will not be looking outside anyway! In addition, bubble size does not matter, so you can buy whatever fits in your budget.


how to insulate windows for summer

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3. Insulating Shutters

While this option is definitely more expensive than the previous options, it is a very powerful tool in energy conservation.

When you choose to invest in insulated shutters, you are creating a very effective barrier that the hot, summer heat will struggle to penetrate. In doing so, it will improve your energy costs, keeping your home cooler, easier.

In addition, it is also a lovely decorative feature that you can add to your property. And just as these methods can help repay you, so can adding decorative features to your home. These decorative features add value, and if you choose to sell, you can easily see that money return.

4. Insulating for Summer With Cellular Shades

Just like weatherstripping earlier, cellular shades are a great year-round solution to energy conservation. These shades contain built-in pockets that help trap air and keeps the interior of your property at your desired temperature. It is said that this specific style of shades can reduce up to 56 percent of heat gain in the summer while preventing winter-time heat loss up to 22 percent.

And once again, this is also a stylish addition to your property. However, these do not add value to the property, just to your lifestyle and energy costs. So, if you are moving into a new place, and need to decorate, go ahead and invest in cellular shades.

5. Reflective Window Film Insulation

Just as it sounds, reflective window film bounces the heating light away from your property’s interior. In addition, it is also providing a few other perks. Those are privacy for people whose property has none, as well as damage prevention for your window.

This film can come in a variety of colors, so even your windows can be styled. However, neighbors may have issues with the refection and it could hinder natural heating in the winter. So, before you buy them, consider these two negatives.

6. Using Draft Snakes for Window Insulation 

If you are like me, you might hate snakes! However, I do not have any problems with these kinds, as they can save me money. A draft snake can be placed at the bottom of your windows, and even doors, to prevent cool air from exiting and warm air entering, in the summer, as well as the opposite in winter.

These snakes are nothing more than long cylinders, stuffed with insulation material. This material can be cotton, rice, newspaper, or even old pillows and clothes. While these items are sold in stores, you can also have fun with it and do a little DIY project to make your own.

All you will need is some sort of fabric, some thread and any of the insulation materials mentioned above. From there, you just need to roll the insulation material up in your fabric and sew it closed. The best part about DIY draft snakes is you can customize them to fit your windows and doors perfectly while also matching your décor.

how to insulate windows for summer

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7. Insulating Using Energy Efficient Windows

These, like the insulating shutters, are a definite investment. But one that is well worth the price tag, once in your budget. With energy-efficient windows, heat will have a harder time penetrating your property, with the cool air having a harder time exiting. The reason behind this is due to their construction. Newer, energy-efficient windows are built with low-emissivity or low-E glass panes. These panes have a built-in coating that keeps the elements outside and your property in your preferred living condition.

Unlike the reflective film, these do not produce a glare that might annoy neighbors, but it does add value to your home, like the insulating shutters. As an insulated glass window will increase the temperature control during hot summers or very cool breezes. So, once again, I recommend looking into this method once the replacement costs fit into your budget. Or, you can find the windows that leak the most and replace them one at a time until all have been replaced. Either way, you will start seeing a reduction in energy costs.

8. Blackout Curtains for Summer Window Insulation

Last, but certainly not least, the legend of energy efficiency, we have blackout curtains. You go ask anyone how to save money on your summer bills, and they will tell you to black out your windows.

The reason why is that they are a great, cost-effective method. These curtains are typically cheaper than cellular shades but provide similar results.

Blackout curtains do exactly what their name says, given you install them correctly. To do so, you must give space on both the sides, as well as the bottom and top.

If you install these curtains too close to the window, sunlight will still bend around the curtains. And while they are still blocking a large majority of the sunlight, they are not reaching their full potential this way.

When installed correctly, the curtains block the sunlight from entering the space and heating it up. They also act as a slight draft stopper, when completely encasing the window or windowed doors. And lastly, they are also a nice decorative item that comes with extreme functionality. And in the winter, you can simply open them up!

how to insulate windows for summer

Black out curtains can help keep the summer heat out.

Summing It Up

There you have it! Our guide for insulating windows for Summer. There are many different options and methods for minimizing the HVAC portion of your utility bill by maximizing your energy costs. Whether you are applying just one of these methods to your property, or all of them, over time you will see savings.

Each method will produce a different level of saving, but every penny counts, right? So go through your budget, find home improvement store discounts or online and see what works best, and start to Insulate Windows for Summer to keep the heat out. Here are all your options one more time:

  • Weatherstrip your Windows
  • Apply Bubble Wrap
  • Install Insulating Shutters
  • Install Cellular Shades
  • Add Reflective Window Film
  • Lay Down Draft Snakes
  • Invest in Energy Efficient Windows
  • Use Blackout Curtains

And if after applying all of these changes, you still are seeing your energy bill higher than you would like, you can always contact an HVAC (Heating, Venting and Air Conditioning), Specialist. An HVAC Specialist can help you look over your entire heating and air condition system to make sure it is functioning correctly. If these methods are not helping, it is likely due to some malfunction or upkeep error with your system.

If that is the case, not to worry, an HVAC Specialist will get it fixed quickly and efficiently. And after all is said and done, you can bet that your utility bill will be lower than ever, and you can start saving and making that money back.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.